Many people in the Columbia Basin must travel far to obtain medical care. For help getting to these appointments, those in financial need often rely on Hope Air. Now, this important service will continue its work in the region with a three-year commitment of $165,000 from Columbia Basin Trust.
“We’re pleased to partner with Hope Air to provide free flights for patients who need access to vital medical care outside the region,” said Aimee Ambrosone, Columbia Basin Trust Executive Director, Delivery of Benefits. “Hope Air helps people in the region access the care they need, from initial diagnosis, to treatment, to follow-up appointments, which improves their health and quality of life.”
The free flights are possible thanks to partnerships with airlines and many donations and grants from individuals, corporations and foundations, including the Trust.
“Too often, patients tell us that without the flights provided, they would delay or even cancel their appointments, putting their health at risk,” said Alanna Scott, Hope Air Vice President, Development. “This project is of particular benefit to families. This support will help them meet the needs of an ill child and shorten their time away from work and other caregiving responsibilities in the home. The funding also provides a lifeline for seniors and people with disabilities who can’t drive or physically manage long-distance drives, as well as people with serious conditions requiring multiple trips for treatments.”
To learn more and request free flights and accommodations, patients should visit hopeair.ca or call 1.877.346.HOPE (4673).
The CBT also supports the Angel Flight East Kootenay transportation service. As well, last year the Trust helped the Elk Valley Air Search and Rescue Association purchase a small plane for air SAR. In addition, the plane is used by Angel Flight (at cost) to provide service from smaller centres (i.e. Elk Valley) that do not have the commercial flights that Hope Air uses in the East Kootenay.